Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has decided to co-sponsor legislation from Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would
require insurance companies to continue offering their existing health care plans, becoming the most high-profile non-red state Democrat to buck party lines on the Affordable Care Act.
Feinstein said in a statement Tuesday that she has received nearly 31,000 calls, emails, and letters from Californians detailing insurance-policy cancellations and premium spikes that have come with the implementation of Obamacare.
She thinks Landrieu’s bill is a way to fix that.
“This bill provides a simple fix to a complex problem,” Feinstein said in the statement.
“The Affordable Care Act is a good law, but it is not perfect. I believe the Landrieu bill is a commonsense fix that will protect individuals in the private insurance market from being forced to change their insurance plan. I hope Congress moves quickly to enact it.”
Among other things, the “Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act” would “grandfather” in all health insurance plans that existed as of Dec. 31, 2013, not March 23, 2010, meaning that insurers could continue to offer a number of plans that they have been forced to cancel under the Affordable Care Act.
Customers in the individual insurance market are finding they cannot keep their current policies if they have changed since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 and don’t meet certain minimum requirements of the law. Insurers are even cancelling some plans that they are legally entitled to continue offering because the law changes the economics of doing so.
In her statement, Feinstein included the story of a phone call from a Rancho Mirage, Calif., man, who now receives just about the same coverage for $US400 more a month.
Feinstein’s public support for the bill serves as another sign that Democrats are becoming angsty over the Affordable Care Act’s disastrous implementation, which has included that now-infamous broken promise and a dysfunctional website. Last week, President Barack Obama met with every Senate Democrat up for re-election to hear their concerns.
Before Feinstein, Landrieu’s bill had three other red-state Democrats as co-sponsors — Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).
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